Barcelona Carnival 2023 kicks off with the Arribo and the Taronjada!

Barcelona Carnival 2023 kicks off with the Arribo and the Taronjada!

13/02/2023 - 15:23

Fat Thursday is on 16 February, meaning we’ll be celebrating the arrival of Queen Belluga in the Arribo ceremony, followed by the Taronjada orange battle for Carnival in Barcelona.

It’s that time of year again when the cold weather lingers on and celebrations and madness come to Barcelona, filling the city with festive fun, humour and fancy dress. Carnival is here!

The celebrations get under way on Thursday, 16 February, Fat Thursday, when we welcome Queen Belluga and her entourage of seven ambassadors at the doors to the Palau de la Virreina. La Rambla is gearing up to become the centre of attention for an afternoon. But…oh dear! It’s not going to be easy… the Queen has lost her festive spirit, her transgressive essence, her madness and mischief. Not wanting anybody to get the wrong end of the stick or take offence, her majesty can’t see the point of her existence.

Yet her ambassadors are willing do whatever it takes to get their beloved Queen back and celebrate Carnival in true fashion! Having got the festivities off to a start since 1860 with their dance, the old giants from the Casa de la Caritat or Carnestoltes, Rodanxó and Rodanxona, will also be there.

The fun gets under way at 6.30 pm and has a bit of mischief about it, along with a hectic pace and a large dose of madness. This year’s festival revises the Carnival colours and includes a live mural painting session. There will also be a DJ, providing music for each moment of the evening.

Finally, it’s time for the most eagerly awaited activity: the Taronjada! This event was already documented back in 1333, when the Consell de Cent prohibited the throwing of oranges. Today no-one’s going to spoil the fun, and the Palau de la Virreina will be full of music and dancing during the orange confetti battle that winds up with a spectacular firework display!

Long live Queen Belluga, the queen of Carnestoltes!

You’ll find the full programme for the Barcelona Carnival 2023 here.

Artistic cast

  • Artistic directors: Sergi Ots
  • Production: Clàudia Saez
  • Wardrobe: Valeria Civil
  • Set design: Adrià Pinar and Carles Piera
  • Reina Belluga: Emma Bassas
  • DJ and singer: Àlex Marteen
  • Live painting: Quim Moya
  • Inflatables: Patx-work Inflables
  • Fireworks: Pirotècnia Igual
  • Special effects: Oh!FX
  • Gegants Vells de la Casa de la Caritat: Federació d’Entitats de Cultura Popular i Tradicional de Barcelona Vella